Do-it-yourself medical tests: the best and how to perform them well at home

Can be purchased in pharmacies and also online. But be careful not to do them after playing sports: here’s why

Roberto De Filippis

March 10 – 11.31am – MILAN

Sales of medical tests to do at home they reached high peaks especially when the limitations due to the pandemic COVID-19 they were very stringent. However, those for the diagnosis of this infection are not the only ones do it yourself exams can be purchased in pharmacies and also online. Using it certainly helps to save time without having to sacrifice, for example, a session training. Here are the most popular ones.

do it yourself medical tests

Tests to do at home, which can be purchased without a prescription, they are very reliable. If performed scrupulously following the instructions, provide reliable results. For example, before carrying out those which involve the analysis of a saliva sample it is important not to use products such as mouthwashes, oral cavity disinfectants and toothpastes that disinfect the mouth. Instead, before carrying out those that require collecting a sample from the nose it is advisable free the cavities from mucus. In both cases, if these simple precautions are not taken there is the risk of false negatives. “Some diagnostic tests they can be done easily at home. To interpret the outcomesHowever, it is always advisable to consult a doctor” recommends Dr. Giorgio Serino, immunologist and allergist at the Irccs Policlinico San Donato and at the Casa di Cura la Madonnina in Milan. Another precaution to take is avoid carrying out these tests immediately after practicing physical activity. For example, following even just a long walk can increase the protein concentration in the urine, while after intense aerobic activity the blood glucose level (glycaemia) can drop significantly or rise somewhat.

consult your doctor

In addition to those for Covid 19 and pregnancy, a home test widely used in this period is that for the search for group A beta hemolytic streptococcus, an aggressive bacterium that causes problems especially in children. The swab should be rubbed on the back of the throat (or better yet on a plate) and then placed in the reagent solution until the result is read. “The swab only detects the possible presence of group A beta hemolytic streptococcus. Therefore, even if negative it does not mean that you are not the victim of an infection by other bacteria, even from the same streptococci family. Therefore, if the test is negative it is always advisable to get checked by a doctor” advises Dr. Serino. The test can also be done at home search for occult blood in the stool. To perform it, you need to collect a sample in a special container, then stick it in three different points with the appropriate applicator, which is then placed in the test tube containing the liquid, to be shaken. From such test tube two drops must be transferred to the instrument which detects the possible presence of blood.

blood and urine tests

They can be done do it yourself medical tests also to check the blood concentration of cholesterol, triglycerides and glucose (glycemia). To do this, you need to prick the tip of your finger and collect a drop of blood on the appropriate strip of absorbent paper, so as to visualize the values ​​of these parameters, which can then be evaluated as a whole with the help of a doctor. “Some of these tests also allow the measurement ofglycated hemoglobin, which indicates the average blood sugar level of the last two months, which is particularly useful for understanding whether the therapy being followed for diabetes is correct or not” adds Dr. Serino. Another test that can be performed comfortably at home is that of urine. This test provides a lot of information, indicating the possible presence of blood, bacteria, sugar, proteins, bilirubin and other substances again, which can be a sign of infections, kidney or liver problems and other diseases. In these cases, it is essential to insert the strip into the urine sample immediately after collecting it and read the results immediately afterwards.